Press releases from the organizers and teams after qualifying and Saturday's first World Superbike race in France:
Magny-Cours: Day 2
Davies Repeats Winning Form In France
- Ducati unstoppable in final stages of Race 1 -
The Welshman still in Title contention with win in Race 1
At 13:00 local time in France, the stars of WorldSBK took to the track for Round 11 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with points leader Jonathan Rea from Kawasaki Racing Team starting from pole. Saturday’s thrilling race saw Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies win in a style similar to that seen in Race 1 at the previous round, with Michael van der Mark in second while Kawasaki Racing Team's Tom Sykes took third.
It was Rea who took the holeshot, leading into the first corner with teammate Tom Sykes hot on his tail, as the sun shone down at Magny-Cours. Honda World Superbike Team’s Michael van der Mark showed his prowess in the mixed conditions finding grip on the outside where no one else could to make up two positions, as his teammate Nicky Hayden followed his lead close behind. By the end of the first lap Sykes had taken the advantage from his teammate as the two Honda’s closed in.
As the battle heated up at the front between the two Kawasakis and the two Honda’s, MV Agusta Reparto Corse rider Leon Camier silently closed in. With his MV Agusta running at its peak Camier became relentless, hunting down the leaders within a couple of laps and easily pulled away in the lead.
By lap 7 the track was almost dry and the Kentucky Kid was the first man into the pits for a tyre change, followed a few laps later by the KRT duo who struggled with grip on the drying track.
Camier’s stint at the top was short lived as IodaRacing’s Lorenzo Savadori was first to catch him before a rush of activity in the closing laps saw Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies eventually catch up to steal the lead from the young Italian. Once in front, Davies was unstoppable and went on to win nine seconds clear of second placed Michael van der Mark, who stayed consistent throughout the race. KRT duo Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea pushed to make up for lost time spent changing tires to finally finish in third and fourth respectively.
Savadori eventually finished in fifth ahead of first Frenchman home, Matthieu Lagrive for Pedercini Racing in sixth. Leon Camier came home in seventh after his intermediate tires eventually lost their grip on the dry track. His impressive race will be fueling his fire in race 2 to see his performance through to finish on the podium.
Barni Racing’s Xavi Fores ended the day in eighth ahead of Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Sylvain Guintoli in ninth, who will also be aiming for the podium on Sunday, while IodaRacing Team’s Alex De Angelis locked out the top 10.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes gave a solid effort to finish in P11 after his crash in yesterday’s practice saw him limping to ad from his bike today. Milwaukee BMW’s Josh Brooke’s finished in P12 while Roman Ramos rode a consistent race to finish in P13. Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres and Luca Scassa (VFT Racing) locked out the last of the points places in P14 and P15.
WorldSBK will be back on the grid on Sunday 2nd of October at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for another thrilling race of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship.
Quotes from top 3:
Davies: “I tried to use my brain as much as possible and way up all the factors, which is a lot. The drying speed of the track, how wet the track was, how many bikes are out there, the wind, the temperature, everything. You have to take it all into account. This isn’t a track that dries very quickly, so I was a little worried about the first laps more than anything because it was proper wet and you know the intermediates aren’t much different to the slicks in terms of compound. The first laps were a battle of survival just trying to stay upright. If I didn’t crash in the first laps I was expecting to get taken out because I was so slow. But anyway, I stayed upright, didn’t get taken out and I could see the guys going away but I was happy because they didn’t disappear into the distance. Then I was thinking, ‘Stay on and don’t do anything stupid, see what happens, let it play out.’ Sure enough I started taking two and three seconds a lap and at that point I knew it was game on for the win so I was very, very happy.”
Van der Mark: “It was a difficult decision and I took the gamble. To be honest I don’t have a really good feeling on intermediates. So I gambled and went with wet tyres. It was just frustrating so I decided to relax and change to slicks. Lap by lap we were getting faster and faster. It is a really important podium for us. We made an important decision. I think at the end it was almost quite close but I think a podium is what we needed after a couple of rounds without a podium. So we are really happy. It was a difficult race but I really enjoyed it.”
Sykes: “It was wet and we had already had a problem in the last race in Germany so to finish was important. I almost came in two laps earlier for the slick tyre but it was still quite dangerous on the slick with the three left-handers, so that almost caught me out. I think we did quite a good race. Our calculations weren’t quite correct so we ended up third, but I’m happy with this and tomorrow we’ll try again.”
#FrenchWorldSBK: Race 1
Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati
Michael van der Mark Honda World Superbike Team (+9.871)
Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team (+10.218)
Championship Standings after Race 1 Round 11
Jonathan Rea Kawasaki Racing Team 406 points
Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing Team 362 points
Chaz Davies Aruba.it Racing - Ducati 320 points
Brilliant win for Chaz Davies in Race 1 at Magny-Cours, right-shoulder issues stop Davide Giugliano
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team took its sixth win of the season in Magny-Cours (France), home of the third-to-last round of the WorldSBK championship, thanks to Chaz Davies’ triumph in Race 1. Davide Giugliano was declared unfit to race after a crash during Superpole 1, which aggravated his right-shoulder injury.
With a wet track at the start of the race, Chaz Davies (who finished Superpole in third position) opted for intermediate tyres. The Welshman’s choice was nonconformist, as most riders chose wet compounds, but eventually proved to be the most ideal. Davies had to play defense early on as the track was slippery, and was momentarily pushed out of the top ten, but soon mounted an incredible comeback that – as his opponents were forced to pit-in – saw him win with a ten-second advantage. It was Davies’ sixth victory of the year, a personal record.
Davide Giugliano showed his grit to head out on track for FP3 and Superpole 1 despite the pain in his right shoulder. After crashing out during his first qualifying lap, the Italian resumed action to post the 13th best time but, since the conditions of his shoulder worsened, was eventually declared unfit to race. He will thus return to Italy to undergo further treatment before the next round.
Track action will resume at 09:25 (CET) Sunday for a 15-minute warm-up session ahead of Race 2, which is scheduled to start at 13:00.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) 1st
“I tried to make an educated guess on tyres, as in the past we haven’t always opted for the best strategy in these conditions. Still, it was somewhat of a gamble and I knew that early on it was just a matter of survival but the reward could be great. At first, I just tried to stay on the bike as in some points it felt like riding on ice, but when I saw the gap from the front after the first few laps I realized we could pull it off. It was fun to come back through the field. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be dry and we have a good chance, but we still have room for improvement.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34)
“I tried everything I could to race. Yesterday we stopped early to give my shoulder a chance to rest, and this morning in the wet I felt comfortable right away. Unfortunately the crash during Superpole, even if at a really low speed, made the situation worse. It’s impossible to do a 21-lap race with much pain and little strength. Now I will rest and undergo physiotherapy to improve the conditions of the tendons so that I can go to Jerez in a better shape. Time is on our side.”
Stefano Cecconi, Aruba S.p.A CEO and Team Principal
“Of all the wins we collected in 2016, this is probably the most thrilling one because of the way it was achieved, with a great mix of performance and strategy. Hats off to Chaz, who already took more victories than last year with five races to go. I’m sorry for Davide, who showed his courage once again, but we agree with the decision to take a temporary break from action and are keen to see him again in Jerez!”
Van der Mark takes second place in thrilling race one at Magny-Cours
Round 11 – France
Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours, France
Michael van der Mark completed a stellar recovery in today’s 21-lap FIM Superbike World Championship race one at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours to take second place in spectacular fashion in front of the French crowd. After a promising start, his Honda WorldSBK team mate Nicky Hayden was forced into an early retirement at the end of lap 10 due to a technical problem.
The race got underway on a wet – but drying – track, with both Hayden and van der Mark able to get a great launch off sixth and seventh places on the grid. In the early laps, they ran as high as third and fourth, while swapping positions between themselves several times. After losing one place to Leon Camier, on lap six Hayden was the first rider to opt for a tyre change. After a couple of tentative laps, the American rider started to settle into a good rhythm and made up several places; unfortunately, by the end of the tenth lap he had to make his way back to the garage after suffering a technical problem, which put an end to a promising performance.
Van der Mark’s choice to pit at the end of lap 8 proved to be an excellent one: the 23-year-old from Rotterdam made perfect use of Pirelli’s slick tyres to storm past his rivals and, during the penultimate lap, he overtook Savadori for second place. He then managed to hold his position up to the chequered flag despite a resurgent Tom Sykes and crossed the line with a 0.347s margin over his rival.
Courtesy of his sixth podium finish of the season, van der Mark consolidates his fourth place in the championship standings.
Race two will take place tomorrow at 1pm local time (GMT +2) after the traditional 15-minute warm up scheduled at 9:25am.
Michael van der Mark 60
What a crazy race! The track started to dry before the race started and that made the tyre choice a quite difficult one. I decided to stay on wet tyres after the sighting lap because I wasn’t sure if it was dry enough for intermediates. I had a good start and battled at the front in the first laps, but after that I couldn’t get up to speed on the straights and that was quite frustrating. I decided to calm down, wait one lap and then go back to the pits for a tyre change. It proved to be the right decision and especially at the right time. In the end Chaz was the one who got it perfect and congratulations to him for the win. I’m extremely happy with my second place; it’s nice to get back on the podium and to consolidate my fourth place in the standings.
Nicky Hayden 69
The race started out really well for us, especially compared to how I felt yesterday. We got the bike working much better in the wet than at the Lausitzring. I made a good start and was feeling quite good; then the sun came out exactly on the main straight and, at that point, I knew the track was going to dry very quickly. I opted for a little bit of a different strategy and pitted quickly; on the second lap after returning to the track I was already matching my previous lap times on wet tyres as I had a good feeling. Ultimately we had a problem, I started to lose power and by then I knew my race was over. For sure we wouldn’t have beaten Chaz Davies today: he made the perfect choice and his times on intermediate tyres were really impressive, but I think we had a really good shot at the podium. Too bad I also missed the chance for some laps in the dry; that was something I really needed.
It was quite a hectic race one. After qualifying in sixth and seventh positions, we decided to use wet tyres for both riders. It wasn’t an easy choice to make because the track was indeed wet, but we had no idea how fast it was going to dry. Nicky decided to make the tyre change quite early, but it was a good call by him. Unfortunately, he could not make the most of that brave call as the bike soon had a technical issue. Michael pitted two laps later and that proved to be an even better choice, because when he went back out he was 10 seconds ahead of Nicky, while before they were locked together. After that Michael simply rode a perfect race, although Tom Sykes caught him at the end. On one side, I’m really happy for Michael, as he really deserved the podium today. On the other hand, we’re sorry for what happened to Nicky. Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day for him, too.
Weather Plays Its Part As Sykes And Rea Go Third And Fourth
The opening race of the Magny Cours FIM Superbike World Championship weekend had begun in wet conditions but the track dried out through all 21-laps, after which Tom Sykes (KRT) had taken third place and Jonathan Rea (KRT) fourth.
Both Superpole winner Rea and second fastest qualifier Sykes started out on full wet tyre options at the start of the first race but changed them after making a pit stop as conditions improved. Sykes took on slick tyres and almost took second place as a result, on the very last lap. Rea earned fourth place on a set of intermediate tyres.
The entire race was punctuated by many riders moving rapidly back and forward through the rankings but early leader Sykes led, with confidence, for eight laps. Rea was in second place until lap eight, as a dry line appeared more emphatically with every passing lap. Realising they had to stop for tyres, the KRT riders entered pitlane together, and went out together, dropping to the lower reaches of the top ten as a short-lived consequence of their pit lane entry.
On their different tyre choices they rode at the same pace for some time but eventually Sykes passed by Rea and then made up ground and positions, running at a high pace. Tom eventually got to within touching distance of second place on the very last lap. He set the fastest lap of the race on the very last circuit, posting a 1’40.491.
Rea had played a patient game to take a fourth place finish, passing one rider on the final lap to end up just one place behind his main championship rival Sykes. Jonathan had won Superpole in wet conditions earlier in the day, his seventh Superpole success of his career but his first in 2016 on the all-new Ninja ZX-10R.
Chaz Davies won the opening Magny Cours race, with Michael van der Mark second. In the championship points, Jonathan has 406; Tom is 44 behind on 362, with Davies now 86 points behind Jonathan and in third place overall.
Race two at Magny Cours will take place on Sunday October 2nd, at 13.00. Dry weather is expected but KRT is ready to face any condition after Saturday’s ever-changing wet and dry experience.
Tom Sykes, stated: “That was a really tricky race. Some riders went on intermediates and some on wets. I was one of those on full wets, as I wanted to be a bit safer in the early laps. Chaz went on intermediates, and it paid off for him in the end. I think we had a good race, considering we had a pit stop. After that it was definitely a good comeback through the field. The lap times were really competitive compared to the others guys. We just ran out of time, but that is racing. I am grateful to be on the podium in such tricky conditions, which could have easily gone another way. Tomorrow I hope it is fully dry and we can improve the result. In fully wet conditions we were good, also in dry conditions, so we are prepared for any of those. It is just that you can’t really make a perfect set-up for those ‘in between’ conditions. Tomorrow we will be prepared in any case.”
Jonathan Rea, stated: “It was a race of strategy today and unfortunately we were not on the winning one. The bike was working OK and in the first part of the race I was patient, just marking time behind Tom. Our main opposition right now is Tom so when he was on rain tyres it made the decision of when to come into the pits much easier. I am just a little bit disappointed in myself for not being clear to ask for slick tyres at the pit stop. I did not have complete confidence and I expected the intermediate would last much longer, as the track was taking a long time to dry. When I saw that he had exited from the pit stop with slick tyres it was very difficult to find the same edge grip as the slick tyres had. All in all, I am happy, because we made some mistakes today but we finished fourth in the race and did not lose too many points. Being the championship leader we had to adopt the more conservative option today, rather than the more aggressive one.”
Behind the top two KRT machines stand-in rider for the Pedercini Racing Kawasaki squad, Matthieu Lagrive, was an impressive sixth at his home circuit, after choosing a mixture of a full wet front and intermediate rear for the whole race. Roman Ramos (GoEleven Kawasaki) placed 13th, Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 18th and Gianluca Vizziello (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) 21st. Vizziello’s team-mate Dominic Schmitter had to retire from the race.
French Round, Savadori and De Angelis are both in top ten after Race1
Magny Cours, October 1, 2016 - The first round of the French round of the Superbike was characterized by uncertain weather situation before the start that has affected the whole race. After a rainy morning and with the track still damp in many parts, the Superbike riders were found to manage the arrival of good weather that caused the progressive drying of the trajectories.
In this context, the Iodaracing Team riders managed to finish both the race without stopping in the pits, keeping the rain tires needed at the moment of the start.
Lorenzo Savadori immediately attacked trying to remount positions from the third row, being able now to get behind the leading group. With the laps going and with the track temperature that was growing favoring the evaporation of water on the ground, Savadori started to climb up positions to occupy the podium zone after overtaking Camier, Rea and Sykes. The team's strategy, given the race pace kept by Salvadori, was not to return to the box, a sensible choice seen the lap times that kept the reigning Stock champion on the track of Magny Cours. At the end of the 21 laps, Savadori crossed the line in fifth place.
Intense competition for Alex De Angelis. The rider from San Marino who started from fifteenth position, he immediately reached his teammate Lorenzo Savadori in the first lap, gaining six positions. De Angelis has also climbed the rankings, running like everyone on track with the rain tires as the track dried. De Angelis, given the common choice with his companion of team, did not return to the pits, but could not defend his position in the final part of the race, when the riders who chose to change tires arrived with a faster pace. Alex is still passed under the checkered flag in tenth position.
LORENZO SAVADORI # 32 - FRENCH ROUND - RACE 1- 5th - "It 'was a good race even if I'm not completely satisfied, although a top five is always positive, only that when you're first at four laps from the end and then you're passed by many drivers, the feeling is not good. It 'was still a very difficult race because the conditions were changing frequently and also the track has changed so often grip and this was not easy. But it was still a positive experience running in these conditions so special, I have left the lovely feeling of being passed for a ride at the finish line in first position. Tomorrow we hope the weather will be more defined and that it is dry and not an half condition as today, this to continue the work started on Friday with the team. I thank the Iodaracing team and Aprilia for the work we are doing together".
ALEX DE ANGELIS #15 - FRENCH ROUND - RACE 1 - 10th - "It 'was a very strange race but still positive because when you get points in such a difficult situation is positive. I made another good start catching up many positions , it is certain that those who have ventured got something extra so far. We've kept it safe and also the choice to stay on track eventually paid. If I stopped too late I am sure that I would not be able to finish in the top 10. I am satisfied of this race, then, but if it continued to rain in the morning as I had a few more card to play for sure. "
A complicated SBK race for Althea BMW at Magny-Cours; De Rosa qualifies second for the STK1000 race
Nevers (France), Saturday 1 October 2016
A complicated first SBK race today at the Magny-Cours racetrack in France, in which the Althea BMW Racing Team riders Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger crossed the line in 14th and 17th place respectively. De Rosa has qualified in second position for tomorrow’s STK1000 race.
STK1000 - qualifying: De Rosa again put in a convincing performance in today’s qualifying. Using the 30 minutes to make final changes to his BMW S 1000 RR, Raffaele improved on times throughout the course of the session. He was lying second when, five minutes from the session’s end, a red flag temporarily halted proceeding. Back on track, the final five minutes proved frenetic but De Rosa used them to good effect, closing in second place (1’40.120) and earning a front row start for tomorrow’s race.
Superpole 1: today’s SP took place on a fully wet and slippery track. Reiterberger tried to do his best in the difficult conditions, but was unable to move beyond tenth place, setting a fastest time of 1’59.800. The German will therefore line up on row seven of the grid.
Superpole 2: a difficult session also for Torres, who struggled to build confidence with the wet track. His best time, a 1’58.353 recorded in the final minutes, saw him close in twelfth position, which translates into the fourth row of the race grid.
SBK - Race 1: the race took place on a track that gradually dried out over the course of 21 laps. From twelfth on the grid, Torres was in tenth after lap one, while Reiti, from the seventh row, made up many positions at the start to position thirteenth. After five laps, the German picked up his pace, passing his team-mate on lap 8 to move into twelfth place. At that point both Althea BMW riders came into the pits to change over from rain to slick tyres. Returning to the track in 20th and 21st place, Jordi and Markus quickly made up places through the central part of the race, eventually crossing the line in 14th and 17th place respectively.
“Definitely a difficult day, in wet conditions. The race fell well below our expectation and despite having gained some good indications during the Superpole, these didn’t translate into results in the race. I’m disappointed, because we had everything in line to do well, but allowed too much of a gap to be created. I also believe there is room for improvement in these conditions as far as the riders are concerned, because it’s important to always give it your all. With regard to Raffaele, he was able to really express his potential today and achieve second place and a front row start. Our aim is to finish ahead of the championship lead, and hope that other riders finish between the two of them.”
“We had a tough race today. During the wet Superpole we were able to understand certain aspects that proved useful for the race, seeing as that also started on a wet track. During the sighting lap we could see the track was probably going to dry out, but we decided to go out on rain tyres anyway, thinking it would be too risky to use intermediates. We did our best, and then came in to change tyres when the track had dried a little. It was just a shame that a technical problem made it difficult for me to ride. Anyway, tomorrow we hope for dry conditions so that we can make a better race.”
“Today was again difficult. We took a small step in FP3 but we weren’t able to go as fast as the others in the wet and only qualified 20th. I made a good start to the race and made up quite a few positions, but when the track started to dry out I had to come in and change the tyres, after which I totally lost the good feeling I’d had at the start. I’m not pleased with this and will try to work harder to find a solution that allows me to be faster.”
Raffaele De Rosa
“Today went a lot better than yesterday, particularly in terms of my confidence. We haven’t changed so much on the bike, but I feel a lot more comfortable riding it. It was only a pity that I made a mistake at the end of the session, on my penultimate lap as, if it wasn’t for that, I could have finished first. Anyway I’m pleased, we’ll line up on the front row tomorrow, and I hope to be able to make a great race.”
Tyre Gambles sees Guintoli Ninth in Magny-Cours Race Day Roulette
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes tackled constantly changing weather at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours today as Superpole qualifying and the first race of the Fassi French Round got underway. Guintoli rode his YZF-R1 to ninth place at the flag with Lowes narrowly behind in 11th.
Thunder storms and heavy rain overnight turned the tables at the Nièvre circuit as the final free practice took to the track at 08:45 on Saturday morning. While the rain had abated, the surface remained wet as Guintoli steered the tricky conditions, his familiarity with the local layout aiding his progress as the Frenchman concluded the 15-minute session sixth in the times having highlighted important information for the following qualifying session. Immediately showing a commanding pace for Superpole 2 he consistently lapped at the head of the times, just narrowly missing out on a front row position to line up fourth on the grid for the ensuing race. Declared wet, but with a quickly drying track, Guintoli fell foul of a bad start to the afternoon's 21-lap battle, dropping to seventh on the opening tour. Settling in sixth at mid-race, he was running strongly on his Yamaha Superbike before he took the decision to pit. With the tyre change complete, the local rider returned to the action in 14th place and showed blistering pace in the closing laps as he made his way back through the pack. Setting a 1'41.813 on his 19th revolution he consistently challenged the front runner's pace but with the gap too much to bridge in the time remaining he crossed the line in ninth, collecting seven championship points.
Having enjoyed Friday's dry sessions, Lowes took a cautious approach to this morning's early track time, circulating at a steady pace as he acquainted himself with the wet track to conclude the final free practice in 14th and holding 11th at the close of the final Superpole shootout. Heading out with his usual determination aboard his YZF-R1 as the race began, Lowes immediately jumped two places on the opening lap before continuing his progression to seventh by lap nine. Choosing to pit for new rubber as his times fell away, the British rider returned to the track in 13th and instantly on the hunt for the top-10. Succeeding in his task just three laps later, Lowes maintained his position for the final seven laps before succumbing to 11th at the flag.
Sunday brings a brighter forecast for the final instalment of the FrenchWorldSBK weekend as Lowes and Guintoli line up at Magny-Cours for race two at 13:00 local time.
Race: 9th / +49.455 / 21 laps. Championship: 13th / 83 points
"It was a disappointing race. The feeling with the drying track wasn't good and I was struggling to follow the leading pack and we also lost a lot of time in the pit-lane when changing tyres. On a positive note the pace at the end of the race was good and I managed to recover some places but not enough as I just ran out of laps. We just didn't have the pace to be fighting for the front positions today but the weather is going to change tomorrow so hopefully it will be a completely different story. We are starting from fourth which is positive so we will see what happens."
Race: 11th / +52.788 / 21 laps. Championship: 11th / 107 points
"It was a difficult day with the weather overall and with the changeable conditions in this afternoon's race. I expected to be a lot faster in the dry once we had changed the tyres but unfortunately some issues held me back and I just wasn't able to ride how I wanted to, or to achieve the pace needed. Hopefully we will improve for tomorrow and, as always, come back fighting."
Superpole & Race 1 report - 2016 World Superbikes Round 11
Magny-Cours, Saturday 1st October 2016
RACE FINISH: 12th
“Superpole was disappointing because we had problems with the bike in FP3 which limited my running, and that meant I couldn’t do fast laps until qualifying. I got used to the bike quickly though and got my lap times up, but the rear didn’t offer enough grip and I fell trying to set a lap.
The race was a bit of a gamble; the start was clearly wet but we knew it would soon dry out. I don’t particularly like the Intermediate tyre as it has a narrow range of use, so I started on slicks to get around the need for a pit-stop. In the first laps I was quite a long way off the pace I needed to finish well. As the track dried my times were competitive, but I lost too much time at the start to make up.
To finish 12th with what I had was pretty good, but I think ultimately the Intermediate tyre was the better choice today. I think if we’d started on wet tyres and changed I’d probably be around the same position, so even though it was a gamble I don’t think we lost anything. My chances for tomorrow are better in the wet for sure, but if it’s dry we’ll use the warm-up to do the best we can and stay positive.”
RACE FINISH: 16th
“The pace looked good as early as FP3 today, but Superpole sadly wasn’t as good as we wanted or knew it could be. We weren’t too far from Superpole 2 but we couldn’t quite get a good enough lap time together.
The race was crazy. It was difficult to decide which tyres to start with as we knew the conditions would change, and looking back maybe we could have tried something different. I was fighting with the other BMWs which was fun near the end, but I’d lost quite a bit of time after I switched to dry tyres as it was difficult to find the dry line.
I’m not happy with the result because I wanted to finish higher, but the race itself was not bad. Tomorrow I would really like a dry race, and I think our pace will be better in those conditions for sure. Either way we will try our best to make the bike work and aim for a better result.”
Mick Shanley, Team Coordinator
“It was a challenging race for all riders today, and we knew it would be a flag to flag style-race. For Josh he took the gamble to be the only rider on slicks which he deserves credit for. At the end of the race his pace was really fast, as quick as anybody really, but unfortunately lost too much time in the first few laps to be truly competitive at the end.
With Karel we set off with the wet tyre and pitted for slicks halfway, and I think we timed that really well but unfortunately we were missing some pace after the change. He had a solid race in 16th, outside the points which was unfortunate, so we just have to wait and see what the weather does tomorrow.
Overall we had mixed fortunes today; we got two finishes that we’d have liked to be higher, but it was worth the risk and we’ll make another strong attempt tomorrow.”
WorldSSP: Sofuoglu Comes Out On Top Again
Kawasaki rider wins his first title of the season
Sofuoglu proving he is unstoppable rain or shine
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Kenan Sofuoglu is well on his way to winning his fifth WorldSSP Title as he cemented pole position in the last seconds of Tissot-Superpole 2 at Magny-Cours, while also taking out his first title of the year by winning the overall TISSOT-Superpole award. Honda World Supersport Team’s PJ Jacobsen came in second and Ayrton Badovini (GEMAR Balloons- Team Lorini) finished third to lock out the front row of the Magny-Cours grid.
The French circuit saw heavy rain in the morning drench the track making for an interesting qualifying day for WorldSSP. Tricky track conditions saw a rush of activity at the top of the timesheets with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing's Randy Krummenacher and Jacobsen alternating the lead at the top. Just when American PJ Jacobsen (who graduated from Superpole 1) thought he had sealed the top position on the grid, Sofuoglu put in a stunning last lap to steal it away, proving he is focused on hunting down that fifth title.
GRT Racing’s Gino Rea, who had progressed through from Superpole 1 finished fourth ahead of local hero Jules Cluzel in fifth, who will look to use the second row grid start on his MV Agusta to achieve a home podium on race day.
Illia Mikhalchyk (DS Junior Team) was the first FIM Europe Supersport rider home, locking out sixth place on the grid ahead of Kallio Racing’s Niki Tuuli. Christian Gamarino from Team GoELEVEN had good form in the wet to secure eighth on the grid while second ESS rider home was Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia) locked out P9 with teammate Axel Bassani locking out the top ten.
After being extremely fast in the early stages of the qualifying session, Kawasaki Puccetti racing’s Randy Krummenacher found it difficult to improve in the latter parts, to finally start from P11 on the grid. Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK #25) was last man home in the Tissot-Superpole 2 shoot-out in P12.
Magny-Cours will see WorldSSP action again on Sunday 3nd of October at 11:20 local time (GMT+2) where their race could see Kenan Sofuoglu crowned World Champion for the fifth time.
Quotes from the top three qualifiers:
Sofuoglu: “There were a lot of people trying to follow but this is what happens in Superpole. Jacobsen had some advantage from Superpole 1 because he had some laps on the track which was a big help for him. But each lap I was getting faster and faster and then on the final lap I said ‘now I’m going to push to the maximum’. I’m very happy that on the last lap I got pole position. If it was dry I could have got the Superpole easier. In the wet it wasn’t easy, but anyway we managed the Superpole.”
PJ: “I was pretty frustrated about being in Superpole 1 yesterday. But actually it helped me a lot. I found a really good set up for the bike. It’s working really good. In the wet here I was on pole last year. So it’s not too bad being in P2 but I really wanted pole. So that’s why I was in P1 the whole time and kept trying and trying. But unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
Badovini: “I’m really happy because it’s my first front row in Supersport. I’m happy about this because we are good in the dry. Tomorrow it will probably be dry and so it will be important to be with the fastest riders. I’m also happy because I wasn’t in a good condition in the rain. I didn’t have traction on the rear and every lap I was close to crashing. Especially on the last lap, I tried and I was really close to the limit. I’m happy for this third position.”
WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole 2
Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 1'55.461
PJ Jacobsen Honda World Supersport Team 1'55.786
Ayrton Badovini GEMAR Balloons - Team Lorini 1'56.694
Sofuoglu On Pole As Krummenacher Qualifies 11th
On the eve of the tenth race in the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and his team-mate Randy Krummenacher had contrasting fortunes in Superpole 2. Sofuoglu took a peerless pole position but Krummenacher was held back in 11th place with an unexpected technical issue.
In a wet Superpole 2 qualifying contest Sofuoglu made good use of a new rear shock absorber set-up to record the fastest time of all, taking his sixth Superpole win of the year and lifting his all-time record to 29 Superpoles in all.
Ready to fight to keep his championship hopes alive against his team-mate in Sunday’s 19-lap race Krummenacher experienced a technical issue that limited him to four laps in Superpole 2. This misfortune in wet conditions prevented him from going for a desired front row starting position, as he had fewer opportunities to set a fast lap than his immediate rivals.
Sunday could see both Sofuoglu and Kawasaki become outright winners in their respective championships, if results fall in the required direction in each case. Krummenacher has to score at least four more points than Sofuoglu on Sunday to keep his championship possibilities open over the final two rounds.
With both wet and dry experiences to draw on from practice and Superpole, Kenan and Randy are well prepared for any eventuality on raceday, although weather forecasts predict dry conditions. Sunday’s race will get underway at 11.20am.
Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “I really want to win the championship tomorrow and do it by winning the race. I have won the title four times but always by finishing second in a race. I wanted to win Superpole because this morning I saw I had the potential to take the fastest lap. When I was on the wet track I was getting faster in Superpole, step-by-step. On the last lap I knew it was time to push. There is potential in the bike and I did not have any moments where I lost any time or was sliding. I was already happy to finish on the front row but I am also pleased to win Superpole 2. Our new rear WP suspension helped us a lot because in the wet sessions earlier this year I have had some issues. I am very happy to be strong in the rain again because I have been in the past.”
Randy Krummenacher, stated: “I will be fast tomorrow, I am sure, so I am looking forward to the race. In general we have had some issues in the past two races so I am really not happy with that. I made one lap at the end of Superpole 2 today but in one lap I cannot build up confidence in the rain. From my side I have to improve in wet conditions but I have been at least able to reach the second row before. Now I have to start in the fourth row so it is going to be tough. It should be dry on raceday and I have very good pace in the dry, so I am looking forward to it.”
Jacobsen storms to second place in French Round Superpole
Round 10 – France
Circuit Nevers Magny-Cours, France
PJ Jacobsen has secured a front-row start for the tenth-round of the FIM Supersport World Championship at Magny-Cours by finishing second in today’s Superpole 2. The Honda WorldSSP rider put up a great fight with series leader Kenan Sofuoglu throughout the whole session and stayed on top until the very last second, while showing great speed on the drying French asphalt.
The 23-year-old American first had to fight his way through Superpole 1 and, as soon as the second session got underway, he immediately tried to dictate the pace on board his Honda CBR600RR machine. Jacobsen kept bouncing back to the top, with his final 1’55.786s lap-time being only 0.325s shy of what would have been his second consecutive pole position.
The tenth World Supersport race of the season will get underway tomorrow at 11:20 local time (GMT +2).
Patrick Jacobsen 2
2nd / 1'55.786
Things went much better than yesterday and I'm glad we could qualify on the front row of the grid; it's definitely a relief. I knew things would have been much better in the wet and in the end I was just unlucky not to get pole, because Kenan (Sofuoglu) pipped me on the last lap for the very front of the grid. I'm really happy to be up there again and looking forward to tomorrow. It appears it'll be sunny, so we need to make the most of the limited time we have in warm-up and then work hard during the race.
Today’s rain has definitely turned things around, and this morning we were already near the top at the end of free practice. We made some small changes and PJ showed some good speed in both superpole sessions. Too bad he couldn’t get on pole, because it would have been an even a bigger boost for him. But he did an incredible job. Now we have to focus on tomorrow, trying to find a better pace in the dry, because it seems the weather will be good tomorrow. We already had a plan for today had it been dry, so we’ll stick to it during warm up and see what happens.
Supersport - Third and fourth row for San Carlo Team Italia at Magny-Cours
Alessandro Zaccone and Axel Bassani got the 9th and 10th time in Superpole-2, respectively 2nd and 3rd of the European standings.
A deciding Superpole-2 on wet track gave to San Carlo Team Italia the third and fourth place on the starting grid at the Circuit de Magny-Cours. Respectively second and third of the FIM Europe Supersport cup standings, Alessandro Zaccone and Axel Bassani, 9th and 10th, got one of the best seasonal result for the team in qualifying.
Even though the asphalt was insidious due to the rain , the two young riders of San Carlo Team Italia didn't make any mistake in the 15 minutes of Superpole-2 that was leading by the World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). With a time in 2'00"417 Alessandro Zaccone achieved the ninth time, preceding his teammate Axel Bassani, tenth in 2'01"141 who opens the fourth row.
Tomorrow at 11:20 the start of the second to last seasonal race of FIM Europe Supersport Cup, with the two riders of San Carlo Team Italia first in the championship standings.
Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #61) 2'00"417
2nd FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 9th FIM Supersport World Championship
"The third row is not bad. Maybe we could have improved more but anyway we're satisfied with this result. On wet we are at a good point, even more on dry track where we did good yesterday. Tomorrow we'll do our best to achieve a good result and precious points for the standings."
Axel Bassani (San Carlo Team Italia - Kawasaki ZX-6R #47) 2'01"141
3rd FIM Europe Supersport Cup & 10th FIM Supersport World Championship
"Unfortunately this morning I did just one lap in FP3 due to a setback, so we started Superpole-2 with no references on wet track. We got this tenth time, which is not that bad. We hope for a sunny day tomorrow, in order to prove what we can do."
"We made it! Our target was top-10 and we achieved it with a great third row after the unluck of Alessandro yesterday. On wet track he did well and with no fear, for tomorrow the goal will be always the same: finishing in top-10."
"In terms of grid place, it was the best qualifying of the season for Axel. Unfortunately a setback precluded us to ride in FP3, and as a consequence, we couldn't acquire many data and useful reference on wet track in view of Superpole. During that session we understood where to work in order to perfect the set up in case of wet race, while we are a good point for the dry race. Anyway we can be quite satisfied, the though is already at tomorrow, hoping to do a great race."